Frequently Asked Questions About Orthotic Centre
Q. What is Orthotics?
A. The purpose of orthotics may be to immobilise, support, prevent abnormality, correct abnormality or to assist or restore function. This is done through fitting various orthoses. Examples are: supports, corsets, braces, calipers, cervical collars and slings. Other examples are surgical footwear (explained below) and footwear items (insoles, arch supports, shoe raises, heel cups). These are either custom-made or pre-fabricated. Each is fitted to meet the client’s needs and/or the goals of the prescriber (the person who referred you to the Orthotic Centre).
Q. What is orthotic footwear?
A. Orthotic footwear is:
- Individually custom-made to suit the client’s needs and, where possible, their preferences.
- Designed for the support or correction of foot problems for which retail footwear is unsuitable.
Sometimes, special stock footwear is used for the same purpose.
Orthotic footwear prescriptions are normally valid for a five-year period. However, individual client needs may require reassessment during that time.
Q. I was referred for assessment by my G.P. Who will I see?
A. You will see an orthopaedic specialist and an orthotist. The orthopaedic specialist sees clients in the role of Orthotic Prescriber only and does not provide a full orthopaedic consultation. The assessment will indicate if an orthosis or special footwear will assist in the treatment of a particular problem or be helpful as an aid to daily living.
Q. Who will I see for other appointments?
A. You will see an accredited orthotist. Orthotists are trained to make and fit the full range of orthoses available. Their training normally takes four years. Also, they must maintain a practicing certificate through on-going education and re-accreditation.
Q. What facilities does Orthotic Centre provide?
A. Facilities include:
- Covered drop-off area at Auckland
- Automatic doors at Auckland
- Wheelchair ramps
- Wheelchair accessible toilets
- Individual fitting rooms
- Off-road parking
Q. Are all items supplied custom-made?
A. No. When possible, an off-the-shelf item (with minor adjustments) is fitted. This means lower cost and faster service. However, at times an item must be custom-made to meet the client’s special need. If this is the case, a plaster casting may be needed followed by trial fitting appointments.
Q. How long does it take?
A. An initial assessment takes up to 15 minutes. If an item is prescribed, further appointments with an orthotist may be required. Off-the-shelf items can often be provided within one appointment (20-50 minutes).
Custom-made items normally take from one to three appointments; and they normally take from one to eight weeks to provide.
Please note: Clients funded under Crown Health or Disability Support Services are prioritised and may experience delays caused by funding restrictions.
Q. Is an appointment required?
A. Yes. If you cannot keep your appointment, please tell us at least two days before the appointment date.
Q. What must I do if I have a communicable or infectious disease?
A. Tell reception when making an appointment.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Costs depend on the service provided. Please discuss this with the orthotist who sees you or with reception.
If an item is needed due to an ACC related injury you may pay for the item yourself and make a claim to ACC (where appropriate), or the Centre can apply to ACC on your behalf. In the latter instance, items are not usually provided until ACC grants funding approval.
For footwear related items funded through the Crown, a client charge of $37 currently applies. There is no client charge on these items for children age 16 and younger.
Q. When is payment due?
A. All items and products must be paid for prior to dispensing.
Q. May I bring a family member, supporter, or caregiver with me to an appointment?
A. Yes. You are welcome to do so.
Q. What do I do if I cannot speak English? What if I have a hearing or speech impairment?
A. You are welcome to bring someone to help you. If this is not possible, have someone advise us so we can arrange for help.
Q. May I return or exchange an item?
A. This is not usually possible. A custom-made item is designed to the individual. It will not provide a satisfactory fit for anyone else. Further, an item that has been worn cannot be reissued. Please ensure you are satisfied with the product before leaving the Centre. Orthoses are personal items and should not be worn by anyone except the person for whom they were provided.
Q. May I see an orthotist of my gender?
A. Yes. If you prefer this, please say so when making an appointment. If you feel uncomfortable with the orthotist attending you at any time, please tell us.
Where an orthotist of your gender is not available you are welcome to bring a chaperone to your appointment.
Q. What do I do if the item supplied is causing pain or not working properly?
A. Notify the Centre immediately. Our contact details can be found here.
Q. What do I do when I need replacement items or repairs?
A. Contact the Centre. We will advise you at the time of the available options.
Any item returned for repair must be clean. The Centre may not accept items for repair which are soiled; or a $15.00 cleaning fee may be charged in advance of the work being done.
Q. Bouquets & Brickbats?
A. At the completion of service you will receive a survey form. (Please ask for one if this is overlooked or complete one online here). We would be grateful if you would take a few minutes to complete this and return it to us?
If you have a specific complaint, you may write or telephone:
The Practice Manager, Auckland on (09) 525 6061
The Office Manager, Wellington on (04) 8158058
The Office Coordinator, Hamilton on (07) 384 1281
The Office Manager, Christchurch on (03) 3793380
(A client complaint form is also available on request at reception)
They will try to resolve your complaint. If this is unsuccessful, they will advise you of available options.
As a consumer of Health and Disability services your rights are protected under Government regulation. A leaflet containing the Code of Consumer Rights and information concerning access to advocacy services is also available on request at our reception area.
We welcome your comments on our service and these are taken into account in our ongoing quest to ensure that our services meet your needs.
Q. What are your hours of operation?
Q. For specific clinic hours, please see the clinic locator here. Most clinics operate from 8:30am to 5pm.